Gold was up on Monday morning in Asia, hitting its highest point since May with a surging number of COVID-19 cases globally dampening hopes of a quick economic recovery.
The World Health Organization reported a record 183,020 cases on Sunday, with almost 9 million global cases as of June 22 according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Gold futures were up by 0.85% at $1,767.85 by 12:20 AM ET (5:20 AM GMT). Investors turned to the safe-haven yellow metal after a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases over the weekend.
“General risk aversion is helping the market, we are seeing pressure on growth exposed currencies and on share markets. Overall, there are concerns about increasing infection rates...the market is concerned about the outlook for growth and that of course is supportive for gold,” Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets, told CNBC.
Investor sentiment further soured after two U.S. Federal Reserve officials warned that the U.S. could see another rise in the unemployment rate if the virus is not brought under control, with the road to economic recovery expected to be longer and harder than the expectations of a swift path.
Meanwhile, geopolitical developments also gave gold, viewed as a safe store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty, a boost. China released details on Saturday of the national security laws it plans to enact in Hong Kong and Macau, with the details revealing that Beijing will have broad powers to enforce the laws.
The laws could be enacted sooner than expected, with the National People’s Congress Standing Committee announcing a rare move to meet for a second time from June 28 to 30 after wrapping up its bimonthly meeting over the weekend.